At OCH gala, Dr. Misiti honored as ‘heartbeat of the hospital’

Photos by Ginny Kropf: (Left) The family of Dr. Joseph Misiti accepted the inaugural Bowen Award on his behalf at the Orleans Community Hospital Foundation Gala Saturday night at Bent’s Opera House. From left are daughter Teresa Misiti, his wife Pam Misiti and Kim Gray, director of Nursing and Surgical Services, who presented the award. (Right) Orleans Community Health CEO/CIO Mark Shurtz and Foundation director Megan Johnson greet the audience at the 2nd annual gala Saturday at Bent’s Opera House.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 7 April 2024 at 8:22 pm

MEDINA – Orleans Community Health Foundation held its second annual gala Saturday night at Bent’s Opera House.

Dr. Joseph Misiti

The evening featured special drinks to commemorate the eclipse, elaborate hors d’oeuvres, and the inaugural presentation of the Bowen Award to longtime surgeon Dr. Joseph Misiti.

Hospital CEO/CIO Mark Shurtz and Foundation director Megan Johnson welcomed guests, who had an opportunity to bid on a silent auction for a handful of high-end gifts and enjoy the music of the Something Else Rock City Band from Rochester.

Shurtz told the guests how lucky they were – to be in the path of totality during Monday’s eclipse and not have to travel to experience that stellar event; but also lucky that they need not have to travel for stellar healthcare services.

“We are here tonight to celebrate our achievements, acknowledge our challenges and to forge a path toward a brighter, healthier future,” Shurtz said.

“The story of Orleans Community Health is steeped in rich history that dates back to 1908, when a visionary group of citizens established Medina Memorial Hospital,” Shurtz said.

That visionary group was led by George Bowen, for whom the night’s award is named.

“Fast forward 15 years and Medina Memorial Hospital found its enduring home at its current location, where it has seen its fair share of ups and down,” Shurtz said. “Yet Medina Memorial Hospital has stayed steadfast and strong for more than 100 years, as hospital after hospital closed around us.”

Guests mingle and enjoy hors d’oeuvres at Saturday’s Orleans Community Health Foundation gala.

Shurtz said it was also essential to acknowledge their struggles and difficult choices they’ve had to make along the way.

“Reducing services and positions is never an easy decision, but these challenges have not deterred us,” he said. “They have instead fueled our determination to adapt, innovate and find new ways to serve our community. Our ability to adapt to meet evolving needs of our community has resulted in some exciting news I’d like to share.”

He reported over the last two years net revenue to the hospital has soared to the highest level in a decade. The same is true of patient visits for the fourth quarter of 2023 and patient satisfaction surveys, which showed approval at 4.9 out of 5. This achievement by hospital staff represents an unprecedented milestone in patient satisfaction, Shurtz said.

He added that while services and patient visits are on the rise, so too are their expenses.

“We must spread the word that Orleans Community Health offers unparalleled care,” Shurtz said. “It’s a simple truth, if we don’t use this valuable service, we stand to lose it.”

Support for the hospital will not only help sustain its growth, but also enable them to expand services, reach more people and make a lasting impact on the health and well-being of the community, he said.

Bartender Elizabeth Lipiec shows Orleans Community Health CEO/CIO Mark Shurtz a special Eclipse Punch which was served at Saturday’s gala at Bent’s Opera House to benefit Orleans Community Health. It was made with Captain Morgan’s rum and garnished with dried fruit resembling a sun and moon.

The evening also celebrated a new tradition – paying homage to deserving individuals who are dedicated and compassionate professionals, by awarding of the Bowen Award.

Shurtz introduced Kim Gray, director of Nursing and Surgical Services, who described the awards first recipient – longtime surgeon Dr. Joseph Misiti.

“In my role I’ve worked with Dr. Misiti for more than 20 years and witnessed his dedication and compassion,” Gray said. “No one is more dedicated in caring for our community Dr. Joseph Misiti. He is the heartbeat of our hospital. He has a profound understanding of the compassionate side of medicine, and I thank his family for sharing him with us.”

Gray then introduced Misiti’s wife Pam and daughter Teresa who accepted the award on his behalf.

Through the years Dr. Misiti has expressed his shyness in the limelight, preferring to remain in the background. For that reason, he did not attend, but extended his pleasure and heartfelt appreciation for those who thought enough to give him this prestigious award.